Time travelling and specialised assassins are two major elements of this sci-fi thriller set in the future, written and directed by Rian Johnson. A ‘looper’ is the special assassin, paid to dispatch targets that are sent back in time from 30 years in the future, tied, bagged and helpless. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, our main character who also happens to be a looper; delving into his life, we see that he is learning French and enjoys going to a road side diner when he is not killing people for bricks that can then be exchanged for money.
Things get more interesting when we are introduced to the idea that even a looper can kill their future selves – once this happens then they must ‘close’ their account, and go ahead and live out the rest of their lives. Enter Bruce Willis, who plays future Joe. The transition from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Joe’ to Bruce Willis ‘Joe’ and the 30 year timeline of the character is brilliant. Levitt wore prosthetics to look more like Willis and we see the progression of the Joe who was an addict and a killer to a Joe who ultimately found a better life for himself with the help of a woman’s love. The one rule for loopers is ‘never let your target escape’ and unfortunately for present day Levitt’s Joe Bruce Willis has other ideas. The film goes into full scale action mode from this point on with gun fights, suspense and tension as audience members question which Joe, if any, they should root for.
Emily Blunt also puts in a great performance of a mother who lives in the country with a small boy (who is also great in this film). I don’t want to spoil too much for you because the film is well worth seeing, and has twists and turns in it worthy of a high-speed rollercoaster. Like I said at times you are not sure which version of Joe you are supposed to be rooting for, as both make it hard at times. My favourite moment in the movie has to be a diner scene involving both present and future Joe – Willis and Levitt give excellent performances in this scene and the movie as a whole, and watching the two characters spar against each other is fantastic.
Rian Johnson creates a quirky and intelligent script that certainly is able to stand up on its own. The movie also has a heart to it and brings an emotional attachment (mostly brought by Blunt’s character) but certainly an attachment that makes the audience members invest in the movie. The film is just shy of 2 hours and I must admit, I did get a little fidgety two-thirds of the way in, however I think its well worth the watch, particularly if you’re a fan of sci-fi movies.
Joe: We both know how this has to go down…So why don’t you do what old men do…and die